Bullion prices ended lower on Thursday, 21 January 2016 at Comex. Gold ended the U.S. day session moderately lower Thursday, amid mild profit-taking pressure following recent gains. A bounce in the U.S. stock market today also limited buying interest in the safe-haven precious metal.
February Comex gold ended down $7.80 at $1,098.00 an ounce. March Comex silver ended down $0.07 at $14.09 an ounce.
Asian stock markets were lower overnight, following the sell-off in U.S. stock market on Wednesday that drove the major indexes to multi-month lows. European stock markets were firmer as traders and investors awaited the European Central Bank's regular monetary policy meeting Thursday. The ECB left its monetary policy unchanged Thursday, which was expected. However, ECB President Mario Draghi at his press conference laid out very dovish remarks that hinted the ECB can and will implement more quantitative easing of monetary policy, possibly as soon as March. This news sunk the Euro currency and boosted the U.S. dollar index, and also lifted the U.S. stock market. That, in turn, also helped to pressure the gold market.
Crude oil prices that hit a 12-year low on Wednesday saw a solid corrective rebound Thursday. Still, there are growing concerns that many companies in the oil industry, and the banks that have outstanding loans to those companies, are in big trouble and could default on obligations, to create a contagion effect.
Worries about slowing economic growth in China, the world's second-largest economy, are also weighing on stock markets around the globe. There are also worries that heavy capital outflows from China will further damage China's economy.
Economic data at Wall Street on Thursday included weekly initial/continuing claims and the January Philadelphia Fed Survey. Initial claims for the week ending 16 January were higher than expected, rising 10,000 to 293,000 (consensus 280,000). There were no special factors influencing initial claims, which have been bounded between 250,000 and 300,000 since July 2014. The latest reading, however, is the highest level of claims since the first week of July 2015. With the latest reading, the four-week moving average for initial claims increased by 6,500 to 285,000, which is the highest average since July 11, 2015. Continuing claims for the week ending January 9 were lower than expected, falling by 56,000 to 2.208 million.
Separately, the Philadelphia Fed Index for January checked in at -3.5 versus -10.2 in December.
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